Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects more than 20 million adults in the United States. This chronic condition refers to sleep interrupted by periods of non-breathing, either due to an obstruction in your airway or to central signals sent by your brain. These instances of slow or non-breathing can happen anywhere from a few times to hundreds of times during a night.
In the short term, sleep apnea results in poor-quality sleep, lack of attentiveness, impaired memory, fatigue, and exhaustion. However, the long-term effects of sleep apnea last far beyond just your night of sleep and the morning after.
Consistent, untreated sleep apnea may contribute to heart disease, mental health disorders, diabetes, obesity, or stroke as a result of the compounded effects of low oxygen levels stacked on top of a deficit of adequate rest.
Many people have heard of the CPAP machine — the initials stand for continuous positive airway pressure — as a common treatment for sleep apnea. The CPAP ventilator comes with a face or nasal mask and works like an artificial breathing machine, helping you have a night of constant and consistent full breaths by regulating pressure.
However, CPAP machines can be unwieldy and uncomfortable, and they can be difficult to manage with a travel schedule. If you are looking for a smaller-sized and more comfortable solution, consider custom dental guards for sleep apnea treatment.
Custom dental guards, also known as snore guards, have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for sleep apnea. The concept behind a snore guard is very simple: The device is custom-molded to conform with your mouth and teeth, and is shaped to produce a slight shift of your jaw.
This shift allows for your tongue to naturally place itself between the upper and lower part of the dental guard, thus maintaining an opening for you to breathe. It is a safe, simple, and non-mechanical solution that has positive results for sleep apnea patients.
Professional organizations such as the American Sleep Association, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine have endorsed custom dental guards for sleep apnea.
At Smile Design Manhattan, we work with you to design a custom mouth guard with an excellent fit in addition to sharing expertise on sleep apnea and its management. A good night’s sleep is within your grasp with the assistance of a custom dental guard. Call to schedule an appointment with Smile Design Manhattan or book online today.